Plan to increase ex-MPs' pension to Rs 35k from Rs 20k

Plan to increase ex-MPs' pension to  Rs 35k from Rs 20k

At a time when the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is talking of austerity measures to curb expenditure, plans are afoot to increase the pension of ex-MPs from Rs 20,000 to Rs 35,000.

The Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs proposal also seeks to increase the pension from the current Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per year for subsequent terms.

This means, on completion of even a single day of a five-year term, an MP is entitled to a pension of Rs 35,000 per month. On completion of the term, an MP will get Rs 2,000 per month as additional pension on a per-year basis. 

The proposal allows even widowed and divorced daughters of an MP to be considered as dependents for availing pension in case of his death. At present, only the widow and dependent children are entitled for the pension.

The proposal is likely to burden the exchequer to the tune of Rs 100 crore per year, ministry sources told Deccan Herald. It has been sent for Cabinet approval, after which it will be sent to Parliament. 

Besides the pension, former MPs are entitled to unlimited free travel in first class AC in railways if travelling alone, and second class AC if they are travelling with a companion.
Ex-parliamentarians are also entitled to medical facilities which are available to Class-I officers of Central Civil Services under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) by paying Rs 60,000 as a life-time fee.

The proposal comes at a time when the NDA government announced a number of austerity measures, including barring holding official meetings at luxury hotels, foreign travel and travelling business class in flight.   However, a ministry official said that the government is planning to hike ex-MPs pension as the previous United Progressive Alliance regime had in 2010 cleared hike in salary and allowances only to the sitting members.

Under pressure from former MPs, the ministry proposed the hike as per the suggestions made by the Parliamentary Committee on Salary and Allowances of Members, the official added.

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